GRANGEVILLE – “SB 1159 is a threat to our democracy,” Reclaim Idaho Executive Director Rebecca Schroeder said March 14 to a group of about 15 people in Grangeville.
She said the bill, presented by freshman senator, Brent Hill, of Eagle (Senate Affairs Committee), changes the way citizens qualify an initiative on the ballot.
The proposed bill calls for citizens to get signatures from 10 percent of 32 districts in six month’s time. Currently, the law is 6 percent of 18 districts.
“The process is not currently easy – nor should it be,” Schroeder said. “But our grassroots group, Reclaim Idaho, did this and now – even though Senator Hill says we are not the reason – he wants to change this ability.”
Schroeder said Hill’s explanation “has nothing to do with Medicaid,” but she understands he saw what is possible when people come together, and that he “never wants to see any legalization issues come up on the ballot in the future,” so he wants to enact these restrictions now.
She said the process is already rigorous and said in 107 years, there have only been 15 ballot initiatives.
“This measure is reserved for Idaho voters to work on an issue that legislators cannot or will not address – and it worked with Reclaim Idaho,” she said. “It does not need to be changed. Senator Hill is misinformed.”
“Or he knows exactly what he is doing,” audience member, Janice Inghram, said.
“This is an erosion of our rights to engage in direct democracy,” attendee, Rick Weholt stated.